New Freely streaming service launched to evolve Freeview

posted on Tuesday, 6th February 2024 by Steve May

home cinema  Streaming  Broadcast 

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Freely, the next generation streamed iteration of Freeview, will launch in Q2 2024, Everyone TV (formerly Digital UK), the joint venture owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, has confirmed.

According to new research, more than half of UK homes will watch TV exclusively over broadband by 2030. The Freely IP delivered streaming service features a UI optimised for that transition.

Just as Sky Stream adapted the Sky TV pay TV service into a broadband delivered service, Freely will evolve Freeview.

Freely enabled TVs can be placed anywhere in the home where there is a Wi-Fi connection, with no need for dish or aerial. Viewers will be able to switch between live and on demand TV from the leading UK broadcasters, and take advantage of features such as pause, restart and box set streaming.

Freely will be built around a familiar looking 7-day programme guide, accessed via the ‘Guide’ button on the TV remote. There will also be the MiniGuide, a pop-up interface which appears whenever a viewer switches channels. This MiniGuide enables users to discover related live and on demand content. 

Freely TVs will feature a Freely button on their remote, to quickly browse recommended live and on demand programming.

The first Freely enabled DTG D-Book-compliant TVs will hail from Hisense, and the Vestel stable, home to brands such as Toshiba, Bush, and JVC. German TV brand Metz has also confirmed to Inside CI that it will be launching Freely enabled screens.

Freely had its first outing at Out of the Box 2024, a broadcast TV industry event. The demonstration confirmed the user interface to be slick and intuitive..

Freely had its first outing at Out of the Box 2024, a broadcast TV industry event. Inside CI was there for a closer look. The demonstration confirmed the user interface to be slick and intuitive, and cleverly integrated with existing catch-up TV players. 

The platform hopes to appeal to those TV buyers who no longer connect their Tvs to aerial or dishes. However it also has real appeal for those who want to place screens in rooms not served by traditional broadcast feeds.

 The full channel line-up has yet to be confirmed, although Everyone TV says it is working with UKTV to bring the broadcaster's portfolio of free channels to the service via broadband, which includes Dave, Drama, Yesterday and W.

Sarah Milton and Carl Pfeiffer, Joint Chief Product Officers, Everyone TV said: “It’s clear the way people are watching TV is changing, with more audiences switching over to a broadband only connection. We’ve built Freely around the needs of British audiences, bringing them the freedom to choose how they want to watch, with all their favourite shows from the UK’s leading broadcasters all in one place for free. We’re really proud of what we’re launching with Freely and are excited about bringing major enhancements like the MiniGuide to viewers as Freely launches in Q2 this year.”

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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